The Senator’s Wife

Published by: Bantam
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Genre: , , ,
ISBN13: 978-0593599891


A D.C. philanthropist suspects that her seemingly perfect employee is secretly plotting to steal her husband, her reputation—even her life—in this seductive novel of psychological suspense from the internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish.

In this town, anyone is replaceable. . . .

After a tragic chain of events led to the deaths of their spouses two years ago, D.C. philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery are finally starting to move on. The horrifying ordeal drew them together, and now they're ready to settle down again—with each other.

As Sloane returns to the world of White House dinners and political small talk, this time with her new husband, she's also preparing for an upcoming hip replacement—the latest reminder of the lupus diagnosis she's managed since her twenties. With both of their hectic schedules, they decide that hiring a home health aide will give Sloane the support and independence she needs post-surgery. And they find the perfect fit in Athena Karras.

Seemingly a godsend, Athena tends to Sloane, and even helps her run her charitable foundation. But Sloane slowly begins to deteriorate—a complication, Athena explains, of Sloane's lupus. As weeks go by, Sloane becomes sicker, and her uncertainty quickly turns to paranoia as she begins to suspect the worst. Why is Athena asking her so many probing questions about her foundation—about her past? And could Sloane be imagining the sultry looks between Athena and her new husband?

Riveting, fast-paced, and full of unbelievable twists, The Senator's Wife is a psychological thriller that upends the private homes of those who walk the halls of power. Because when you have everything, you have everything to lose.

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“Anyone who still misses watching Kerry Washington in Scandal won’t want to miss Constantine’s The Senator’s Wife, a delicious concoction of political intrigue, medical mystery and psychological suspense. The titular senator’s wife, D.C. philanthropist Sloane Chase, becomes convinced that the in-home nurse her husband hired to assist after hip surgery is trying to steal her life. Be prepared: You’ll be tempted to finish this one in a single sitting.”
- Parade

“Backstabbing, gaslighting and double-crossing—The Senator's Wife has all you want in a thriller and all that you fear to be true about Washington.”
- The Washington Post

“Readers have come to expect a few things from a Liv Constantine novel: women behaving badly, juicy details about the upper class, and lots and lots of twists. …you may think you know where this story is headed, but you won’t be able to guess what’s really going on.”
- Glamour

“A blockbuster! The Senator’s Wife is psychological suspense at its very best! Constantine is known for taking us deep into the hearts of her utterly believable characters, from the modest to the powerful, and this novel is no exception. Combine that compelling cast with a nonstop plot that resembles nothing so much as a roller coaster with switchbacks (if there is such a thing) and, presto: you have a one-sitting read. (Though, let me warn you, don’t go so quickly; you miss the author’s unique and arresting literary voice.) Brava!”
- Jeffery Deaver, #1 internationally bestselling author

“This perfect storm of perfidy swirls to a shocking climax…Constantine reliably delivers what her fans expect.”
- Publishers Weekly

“A domestic thriller set among the Washington, D.C., in crowd starts with a bang...the reveal scene was
- Kirkus Reviews

"...this psychological thriller set in Washington is a real page-turner. In the midst of D.C. politics, lobbying and scandal, they created a cliffhanger.”
- Fredericksburg Free Lance Star

“A well-crafted thriller . . . [that] takes us into the world of the rich, powerful, and superbly attired world of politics.”
- Booklist

“The novel’s villain has a Machiavellian plot of such complexity, with so many moving parts, that it’s astonishing to see it pulled off. The reader’s correct suspicions are at every point sidetracked, so that by the end, the final reveal does come as a shock.”
- Washington City Paper

“The writing duo of Lynne and Val Constantine have crafted a compelling psychological puzzle with a lead character that readers will root for. The Senator’s Wife would make a nifty film, and fans of The Last Mrs. Parrish and others by this terrific writing team will get swept away.”
- criminal element

“This book is a page-turner, expertly plotted and well thought out; it pulls you in and keeps you guessing until the end.”
- Princeton Book Review

“It's like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle meets The West Wing: a high-stakes paranoia thriller, slippery as a politician's handshake, that's both sophisticated and irrepressibly fun. And if you look away from the pages, it'll only be to see whether a certain home aide is lurking behind you -- that's how intense Athena is.”
- A.J. Finn, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“A thrilling new story from Liv Constantine set in the dark heart of Washington DC, The Senator’s Wife is full of grit, grift, and tons of insider secrets. Insidiously clever and utterly mesmerizing.”
- J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of It's One of Us

“As a self-proclaimed thriller connoisseur, I pride myself on staying one step ahead, but never am I more delighted to have the rug pulled out from underneath me than when Liv Constantine is the one yanking it. A deadly cocktail of medical mystery, family drama, and psychological suspense. I'll admit, The Senator's Wife really got me.”
- Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network

“Liv Constantine's The Senator's Wife is filled with secrets and switchbacks, cleverly concealing its best surprises for the final pages.”
- Peter Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kind Worth Killing

The Senator's Wife is another twisty triumph for bestseller Liv Constantine. I devoured this thoroughly entertaining, well-crafted thriller. If you loved The Last Mrs. Parrish, you'll want to pick up this book.”
- Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Tonight

The Senator’s Wife is a scandalous tale by the masters of suspense. I was unable to put it down until I knew how it was going to end – because I couldn’t possibly have guessed.”
- Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

The Senator's Wife succeeds in being both an intimate story about loss and betrayal and a high-stakes, propulsive thriller that leaves readers breathless as the characters' colliding secrets and agendas unfold.”
- Nina Sadowsky, author of Privacy and The Burial Society

“...all the delicious twists and turns make this book into an intriguing mystery I could not put down. And WOW! I did not see that coming in the last chapter!”
- Mystery & Suspense Magazine

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
- 1 -


The events leading up to the destruction of Sloane Chase’s carefully ordered world had already been set in motion. She just didn’t know it yet. She was tired and irritable, thanks to the Category 5 argument their houseguests had subjected them to late last night. She yawned as she walked into the kitchen and saw Robert, her husband, standing at the counter, pouring himself a cup of coffee.

“Good morning,” Sloane said as she rose on tiptoe to kiss him.

“Good morning, gorgeous,” he said, pulling her closer. “I made coffee.” He poured her a cup and handed it to her.

“Thanks.” She took a long sip. “What in the world is going on with Whit and Peg? I thought they’d never stop yelling.”

Robert raised his eyebrows. “I know. Did you notice how hard Peg was hitting the wine? They were at each other’s throats all evening. Something’s not right between them.”

Sloane nodded. “I’m glad we’re heading back to DC today. This is not how I envisioned spending our last weekend at the beach.”

A loud shriek made them both freeze. Peg’s voice rang out. “You’re a lying son of a bitch!”

Sloane and Robert exchanged a look. “What’s going on now?” Sloane whispered.

They moved to the hallway just as Whit came running down the stairs, with Peg close behind him.

“I’m not going to talk to you while you’re like this,” he said as he swept past Sloane and Robert. The next thing they heard was the slamming of the screen door to the beach.

“Don’t you dare ignore me!” Peg screamed after him, her face red and eyes wild.

Robert blocked her from going any farther. “Peg, hold on, you need to cool down. Let me go talk to Whit.”

She collapsed into Robert’s arms, sobbing. “I hate him!”

Robert gave Sloane a helpless look.

“Peg, why don’t you and I go talk?” Sloane put her arm around the woman and, with a nod to Robert, indicated that he should go after Whit.

Sloane led her to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee, letting the silence sit between them as Peg took a sip. Robert’s first cousin Peg had not been herself lately. She was an attractive woman who’d always taken care with her appearance, but this past weekend she had shown no interest in how she looked and had been drinking heavily.

Finally, Peg spoke. “Everyone thinks he’s so wonderful.” She put the cup down and looked at Sloane. “You have no idea.”

Sloane had sensed that things hadn’t been great between them the last few months, but Peg’s open hostility was something new.

Sloane put a hand on her arm. “What is it?”

Suddenly Peg jumped up from her chair. “I need a drink.” She grabbed the wine bottle on the counter and poured some into a glass.

Sloane watched in distress. “What are you doing? It’s barely eight o’clock. That won’t help anything.”

Peg lifted the glass to her lips and took a large gulp, then poured more and drank again. She put the glass down on the counter and looked at Sloane with eyes full of fury.

“I hate him. He’s a pig and a bastard.”

“What’s going on, Peg?” Sloane took her hand and led her back to the kitchen table, where they sat, Peg still clutching the wine bottle.

She raised it to pour another drink and wrenched her arm away when Sloane tried to stop her. “I’ll drink if I want to!” Peg slammed the glass down. “He’s nothing but a liar and a cheat.”

“What are you talking about?”

“He’s screwing that bitch. Been screwing her for months.”

Sloane raised her eyebrows. “Who?”

“You look surprised.” She gave a bitter laugh. “He’s discreet, I’ll give him that. But all those late nights, the weekends at work. All bullshit.”

“We’re both married to senators, Peg. Those late nights and weekends come with the territory. You know that. Senate sessions run long, votes run over. Everyone in DC works those crazy hours. That doesn’t mean someone’s having an affair.”

Peg’s eyes were cold. “That’s true for Robert. He would never look at another woman. He worships you, so how could you possibly understand? But Whit’s different. I know he’s been sleeping with Madelyn Sawyer for over a year now.”

“What?” Sloane knew the woman, as did anyone who was anyone in DC. Madelyn Sawyer was a barracuda—­smart, rich, and powerful, with a voracious appetite for equally powerful men. But surely Peg was wrong. She’d always been jealous, and having a husband who looked like Whit didn’t help. He was fit and toned, with thick dark hair and a face that looked as though it had been sculpted by one of the masters. Robert, blond and blue-­eyed, was good-­looking, but Whit was startlingly handsome. Journalists seemed unable to resist mentioning his “movie star good looks,” as trite as the expression was.

“Are you sure about this?”

Peg leaned forward, so close that Sloane could smell the wine on her breath. “He denies it, but I know he’s lying, and I’m going to prove it. And when I do, Whit is going to be one sorry son of a bitch.”

Sloane sighed, wondering if Peg, who seemed to revel in discord, could be mistaken. She’d been a witness to Peg’s jealousy and possessiveness over the years and had often wondered how Whit was able to put up with her. On more than one occasion, Peg had caused a scene at parties when she’d had too much to drink and thought Whit was paying too much attention to another woman—­even if he was just making polite small talk. “Maybe it’s not what you think. Madelyn and Fred Sawyer have both been supportive of Whit’s Senate campaigns. Maybe that’s all it is. I’ve never seen them together, and I’ve never heard one word of gossip to that effect. Don’t you think Robert would know if that were going on? The two of them are so close.”

Peg huffed. “I know what I know. And besides, Whit wouldn’t be foolish enough to tell Robert. I may have been wrong in the past, but this time I can feel it in my gut.” She took another long swallow from her glass. “After my parents died, things got worse. I know now, he only married me for my money.”

Sloane frowned. Everyone had been surprised when Peg’s parents left their millions to charity through the Giving Pledge, but for Peg it was the final cruel act of parents who had been cold and disapproving, and for whom she could never measure up. Robert had always looked out for his ill-­treated younger cousin and took on the role of Peg’s protector. He was always there, and when she and Whit became engaged, Robert had been both pleased and relieved. But even after Peg was married and seemingly settled, her father never stopped referring to her as the drama queen of the family. And when she failed to produce a grandchild, her parents had essentially disinherited her.

“Sloane, are you listening to me?”

“Yes, sorry.”

Peg scowled. “He was furious when I took the little money they left us to buy our house, so you know what he did? He took the insurance money we got for Dad’s World Time watch that burned in the fire and bought himself that damn Porsche. Without even asking me.”

“I’m sorry you’re so upset. Why don’t I ask Robert to talk to Whit? In the meantime, try to put it aside for now. It won’t do you any good to keep accusing Whit with no proof. Maybe you two should consider seeing a marriage counselor.”

Peg closed her eyes and put her head in her hands. Then without saying another word, she stood up and walked out of the room, leaving Sloane shaken. Peg had always been overly fond of her wine, and on many of the weekends she and Whit had been guests at the beach house, Peg awakened with a hangover. Whit had confided to Robert that Peg’s drinking was getting worse, that she was becoming increasingly argumentative and combative. Had her drinking reached the point where she’d become paranoid, convincing herself of things that weren’t true? But what if it was true? Sloane would keep her eyes and ears open to any hint of gossip about Whit and Madelyn. As much as she liked and respected Whit, she wouldn’t dismiss Peg’s belief out of hand. How awful it must be, though, to live day to day in such a troubled marriage.

She walked to the sunroom and stood, looking out at the beach as Robert and Whit walked back toward the house, Whit’s face animated and his hands gesturing. Robert was nodding as he listened. She couldn’t hear what Whit was saying, but could tell from his body language that he was disturbed. Before they might notice her watching them, Sloane returned to the kitchen and began loading the dishwasher, when the sound of a ringtone got her ­attention—­it was coming from Whit’s phone sitting on the counter next to her. She glanced over and drew a breath when she saw the name on the screen: Madelyn Sawyer.